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 —Married 12 years, age 38, New York

How Marriage Counseling May
Help by Changing Your Focus

By Nancy Wasson, Ph.D.

Are you wondering if marriage counseling can help improve your unhappy marriage?

Of course the answer depends on a lot of things, but it may be important to you and your spouse not to dismiss marital counseling before you investigate it.

Why, you may ask?

Because there may be real hope that you can have a better marriage than you ever thought possible.

What You Get in Marriage Counseling

With a good marital counselor, one of the most important results you can achieve is to gain a new perspective into your marriage. This new way of looking at yourself and your spouse gives you a new frame into which you can place the events in your marriage and see things differently.

A good marriage counselor can open up eyes to help husbands and wives see how to change their focus on their problems and instead concentrate on what’s good in their marriage.

Maybe you’re wondering how this happens.

The truth is, in marriage as in life, you decide which attitudes, traits, values and beliefs you will pay attention to. And that which you focus on will expand and grow. For instance, if you value integrity, this value will influence all of your interactions and dealings with others. In contrast, if you stoke the fire of resentment, it will sooner or later take control of your life.

Always focusing on marital problems makes the marriage seem even more troublesome than it really is. If you think non-stop about how your spouse has done you wrong and how angry you are because of it, your sense of outrage will grow and erase your memories of better times. When that occurs, it’s difficult to see a more balanced picture.

Marriage guidance can help you change such thinking patterns so you can overcome your marriage problems.

The more energy you use to focus on your marriage troubles, the worse and more difficult improving anything seems. And while you’re feeding this negativity, your creativity is frozen. That means you don’t have the capability to come up with a fresh perspective or helpful options.

Marriage Counseling Tips to Improve Your Relationship

The best marriage advice to nurture a positive outlook that can help your marriage is:

  1. Practice an attitude of gratitude. Take time every day to think of what you ’re thankful for in your life.
  2. Remind yourself constantly of your mate’s good qualities.
  3. Focus on developing yourself in ways that make you feel good about yourself. You might write in a journal the qualities that you aspire to – beliefs, values and attitudes you want to concentrate on.
  4. Fill you mind with inspiration material from books and CDs.
  5. Stop hanging around with negative people. They drain your energy.

*  *  *  *  *

Copyright © Nancy Wasson.  All rights reserved.  Nancy Wasson is co-author of Keep Your Marriage: What to Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" This is available at http://www.KeepYourMarriage.com, where you can also sign up for the free weekly Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine to get help with your marriage problems.

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